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Where this industry veteran landed soon after announcing retirement


August 31, 2020   by Jason Contant


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One week after retiring as president and chief operating officer of Pembridge and Pafco insurance companies, 40-year industry veteran J.R. (Bob) Tisdale has joined the board of the independent adjusting firm CRU Group.

Gary Winston, founder and chair of the board of directors of CRU Group, announced the appointment Aug. 25.

“Bob is an industry icon and we are just thrilled that he has agreed to join our growing organization,” Winston said in a press release. “Our company has become a significant player in the market, with a growing North American footprint in catastrophe response as well as general and specialty claims. Bob brings deep experience in the Canadian market and a legendary customer focus to our board table. We know he will help us continue to build on our CRU Group ‘customer-first’ service model.”

Kyle Winston, president of CRU Group, told Canadian Underwriter Friday that he and Gary Winston were acquainted with Tisdale through annual trade shows, associations and events. “Additionally, Gary and Bob developed a working relationship when Gary was an insurance broker and Bob worked at an insurance company,” Kyle said. “When the news of Bob’s retirement became public, I mentioned in passing to Bob if he was interested, there was a possibility of joining the board.”

Related: After 40-plus years, it’s the last day on the job for industry icon J.R. (Bob) Tisdale

Tisdale first announced his retirement in August 2019. In addition to president of Pembridge and Pafco insurance companies, Tisdale previously served as chairman of the board at the Facility Association, chairman of the board of governors of the Insurance Institute, and chairman of the CIP Society. He has several designations, including Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP), Fellow Chartered Insurance Professional (FCIP), Canadian Risk Manager (CRM) and Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD.D).

In the press release announcing his appointment, Tisdale said he has been following the progress of CRU Group for some time; he said he was impressed by the platform the Winstons are building, as well as by their substantial growth prospects here and in the United States market.

“As an insurer for most of my career, I know exactly how important good claims management can be,” Tisdale said. “CRU Group has developed a compelling vision of how to deliver claims adjusting services ‘as the client requires,’ adopting their policies and procedures and working in their systems. It is a winning customer value proposition.”

Related: Bob Tisdale to retire on 40th year work anniversary

When asked about their claims management system and why they decided to adopt the clients’ policies and procedures and work in their systems, Kyle explained that ultimately claims adjusting is a customer service platform.

“For each of our clients, no claim is handled the same way,” he said. “We ensure a tailored strategy is developed to deliver exactly what each client wants, in the spirit of how their policy is intended, and maintain their level of customer service.”

Gary added that as the adjusting firm grows, “we know we need to add new skill-sets at the corporate level, too. Bob will be a huge asset for our board and in our continued evolution as a major North American claims adjusting player.”

When asked specifically how Tisdale’s experience and customer focus will help CRU Group, Kyle responded: “Bob brings a world of experience with him not only from a sales and organizational background; he has also been instrumental in growing a family business into a large corporation.”

When Tisdale first announced his retirement last year, he said he planned to “remain active in business and will be looking for board and other opportunities that will allow me to provide strategic thinking oversight and governance to organizations while maintaining some personal flexibility in my life.”


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